UT Austin students rally behind beloved homeless man
Austin, TX (KEYE) — For more than a decade, a man made a positive impact on students at the University of Texas at Austin. So, when some students found out that he'd fallen on hard times, they rallied to help him.
The University of Texas has a long list of legends: Darrel Royal, Walter Cronkite and even a two thousand pound animal. All big names, but what about Junior, the so-called "Wendy's Guy" who worked in the Student Union for fifteen years?
Junior was famous for serving up smiles and a biggie-sized reputation. In 2006, Junior as featured in an award-winning South By Southwest documentary. Not to mention, he broke a fast-food world record for the most sales at a fast-food restaurant in 30 minutes, making 246 sales, totaling $1,035.43, for the Wendy’s in The Texas Union in the 30 minute time span between 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.in 2005.
"It's kinda like a spectacle, he was always smiling. He was like superman, I've never seen anyone that could go through a register that fast. " said UT Alum, Benjamin McPhaul.
And apparently just as fast, Junior recently ran into hard times. Monday night, a former student stumbled into him on the streets.
"As we were leaving a guy approached up and said do y'all have a couple dollars and I first didn't recognize him." said McPhaul.
It turns out, it was Junior. Who is now homeless. McPhaul jumped in to help, launching a GoFundMe website to raise money. Now, donations and comments have been flooding in, as UT students, alumni and faculty return the favor.
One UT Alum wrote on the donation site "Thank you junior for making my wait in the Wendy's lunch line a joyful and memorable experience. Hook 'em."
It goes to show how kind gestures leave lasting impressions, and can even turn you into a legend.
McPhaul added, "If you are really nice to people and you are always smiling maybe you will have hard times, but that good things will come back to you in the end."
McPhaul says he'll make sure Junior spends the money to better his life. he's also talked to a social worker about helping Junior find a job.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of 10:47 a.m. MST on Wednesday morning, the site has raised over $30,000 toward's Junior's cause. You can donate or comment on the GoFundMe site, here.